Book Reviews · Mystery · Thrillers · Young Adult


I can’t believe it’s already been about a week since the end of March Mystery Madness! I got to read quite a few fantastic mystery novels during the month of March, and I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts about all of them with you over the next several weeks!

One of the books that I chose to read as part of March Mystery Madness was Shadowmaker, by Joan Lowery Nixon.

Shadowmaker is narrated by Katie Gillian, a teenager from Houston whose mother is a well-known newspaper reporter. When her mom decides that she wants to take some time off work to write a novel, Katie finds herself uprooted from her home and school, and moved into a beach house in the small Texas town of Kluney.

Shortly after their arrival in Kluney, Katie and her mom wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of dogs barking down the street. When they look out the window, they see what appears to be two shadowy figures watching the house. Calling the sheriff to report the prowlers doesn’t do much good, and things begin to escalate. Rocks are thrown at the side of the house in the middle of the night, and someone breaks in while they’re eating out. It seems clear that someone wants to scare them away. The question is who, and why?

I’ve been a fan of Joan Lowery Nixon’s mystery novels ever since I was a kid. I first read Shadowmaker when I was in middle school, and I can remember staying up well past my bedtime to finish it because I just couldn’t put it down.

Reading it again as an adult, I found that I felt exactly the same way about it. Shadowmaker is a very exciting, fast-paced novel, with a lot of twists and turns. Just like when I was a kid, I ended up reading the entire book in a single sitting.

I was also very pleased to find that the story has aged really well. Shadowmaker was published in 1994, but Joan Lowery Nixon really did a good job of creating a story that is just as relatable today as it was 27 years ago. I think part of the reason for this is because there is very little emphasis on the technology used by the characters. While the characters do not have access to cell phones or social media, I think the plot would be equally plausible if they did. (That’s not always the case for older mystery novels.)

Whether you are a fan of mysteries, or enjoy young adult fiction, I definitely recommend checking out Shadowmaker. It’s a very exciting book, and one that I think will appeal to both teenage and adult readers. If you do have the opportunity to read Shadowmaker, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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